Helmut Newton

German, 1920 - 2004
Helmut Newton was born Helmut Neustaedter in Berlin October 31, 1920 and grew up in a wealthy home, his father being a button-manufacturer. He attended the American School, but was expelled when his love of photography overshadowed his interest in class. In 1936 Helmut left school and worked as an apprentice to photographer Elsie Simon, known as Yva. He held this job until he was forced to flee after the start of Hitler’s hatred against German Jews two years later. In 1938 he briefly worked in Singapore as a photographer for the Straits Times. He served with the Australian Army during World War II from 1940 to 1945, working in logistics. In 1948 he married Australian actress June Brunell and after the work he worked as a freelance photographer, producing fashion shoots and work for magazines such as Playboy. From the late 1950s he concentrated on fashion photography. In 1961 Newton moved to Paris and began work as a fashion photographer. His works appeared in many magazines, most significantly, French Vogue. Newton’s style was marked by erotic scenes, often with sado-masochistic and fetishistic subtexts. Newton died in a car crash in Hollywood, California in 2004 when his car hit a wall in the driveway of the Chateau Marmont.